Today I harvested the Oyster mushrooms! They were beautiful and I was so excited to cook them up. Here is what I did and some pictures along the way:
Freshly harvested mushrooms!
Creamy Mushroom Pasta
1 lb fresh pasta
2 cup Oyster mushrooms, chopped
8 oz buttom mushrooms, chopped
0.25 oz dried porcini mushrooms, re-hydrated then rinsed and chopped
3 Tbs butter
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
salt and pepper
2 Tbs dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley plus more for sprinkling
1 cup cream
Melt the butter in a large skillet when foamy add the garlic and stir a few time, then add the mushrooms. Saute until starting to wilt then add several grinds of pepper and some salt as well as the parsley and white wine. Saute for about 10 minutes then add the cream. Cook until slightly reduced, about 10 more minutes. Then taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Cook pasta, drain then add to sauce and toss well to coat. Serve with additional parsley and grated Parmesan.
One of my son’s ordered Alfredo when we were on a skiing trip in December. He has been talking of it ever since so I finally got the hint and served it for dinner. No only was it easy, it was a great hit and there are so many ways you can embellish it. I does seem like a lot of butter, but it is worth the splurge. Enjoy!
(adapted from The New York Times Cookbook)
I lb. pasta (you could go traditional an serve Fettuccine, but feel free to use what you like, we did it with bowties)
1/4 lb butter but in 8 parts
1 cup half-and-half (or just improvise as I did with cream and milk)
1/4 pound grated parmesan (this made me want a better grater!)
optional embellishments: bacon bits (or real bacon, or even prosciutto), peas, broccoli, spinach, etc.
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Drain and put back in the pan over low heat. Add the butter and grind a bunch of pepper over the pasta. Add the half-and-half and allow to heat up, stirring until it is mostly absorbed. Add the cheese and stir until well coated.
I served mine like this with the add-ons on the table so the kids could choose how to spruce it up.
Sometime you have leftover rice and it makes great Fried Rice, but sometime you want Fried Rice and there is no cooked rice to be found. This happened to me last night. So, though I am really ALL done with winter, I was grateful for the chilly weather as it sped up the process of drying out my just cooked rice!
Super Easy Fried Rice
1.5 cups dried rice, cooked (either day old from left-overs or cook it, then spread it out on a baking sheet and cool rapidly- in the freezer, or like I did last night, outside in frigid cold winter weather!)
1 onion, diced
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbs oil for frying
tofu, in small cubes, fried until lightly browned
vegetables (use what you like, frozen is great here, corn, peas, carrots, etc, just take the chill off by dunking in warm water- also good is diced red pepper)
2-3 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs sesame oil
salt and pepper
green onions, sliced into thin rings
Fry your tofu (or cook some meat) first, then set aside.
In a wok, or large skillet, heat oil and fry onion until translucent. Add eggs and stir until well cooked. Add cooked/cooled rice. Stir and continue to cook until the edges of the rice start to brown. Add tofu and season with soy sauce, sesame oil and salt and pepper. Stir well then add green onions and serve. Yum!
I’ve been awful about posting recently. Busy lives means I spend more time cooking rather than writing about it! Today I am in my race to crank out pies and sides to make my mother’s prep less stressful. And also (selfishly) because I refuse to eat store bought pie!
To make matters more interesting, this year, for a once in a lifetime treat, we have the concurrence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah! So of course one of my sides will have to be latkes. I think Sweet Potato Latkes are most appropriate and so I am cooking up a batch now. To take them with me and make reheating easier I am stacking them in a loaf pan and will reheat them in the oven along with the stuffing and squash.
Yes, squash- seems everything I am cooking today is orange! I am roasting Butternut Squash with shallots and thyme. Yum! Just cube the squash, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 tsp of sugar and some fresh or dried thyme and roast at 450F for about 25-30 minutes, turning once during the cooking.
Also of course, my favorite Pumpkin Pie, no dairy and delicious! And Apple Pie for my son, it is by far his favorite!
Grate sweet potatoes and onion in a food processor with a coarse grating blade. Tranfer to a large bowl and combine with eggs, salt, pepper and flour. (this will seem dry at first but will come together nicely)
Heat oil in a heavy skillet and fry a large spoonful of mix at a time, pressing it flat after putting it in the pan. Fry until golden brown (carefeul they can burn more easily than potato latkes). Drain on paper towels.
Enjoy! And have a Happy Holiday enjoying food with your family and friends!
Here is a simple but delicious all in one meal! My kids really enjoyed it.
Garlic Broccoli Pasta with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Parmesan
I small head broccoli, cut into a few wedges
1 lb pasta (I used mezze penne)
1-2 thick slices of crusty bread
1 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic (or one frozen cube)
1 Tbs butter
2 cloves garlic or two frozen cubes
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt generously. Add broccoli (make sure it is large chunks so that it is easier to remove from the water when it is done cooking) and cook 8 minutes. Remove and set aside. Mince.
Add the pasta to the water and cook according to package.
Meanwhile, put the bread slices into a food processor and process until fine. Melt 1 Tbs butter in a skillet, add 1 clove garlic (pressed or finely minced) and cook about 1 minute. Add breadcrumbs and toss until coated. Cook a minute or two more until lightly golden. Remove from heat.
In a large skillet, melt 1 Tbs butter, add the remaining 2 cloves garlic (pressed or finely minced) and cook until aromatic (about 1 minute). Add cream and stir well. Then add broccoli. Toss until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper.
When pasta is cooked, drain and add to sauce. Toss well. Serve topped with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan.
Have you ever made your own Granola? It is easy as so delicious and the best part is that you get to add only the things you like!
(adapated from Paula Shoyer)
3 cups oats or matzah farfel (great to make Passover Granola)
1 cup dried coconut flakes (unsweetened)
1.5 cups chopped nuts (I like to use pecans and silvered almonds)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbs oil
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 cup dried fruit (like craisins, raisins, apricots, dates, etc) chopped if necessary
Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl mix oats (or farfel), coconut, nuts, and spices.
In a glass measuring cup mix honey, sugar and oil. Microwave for 45 seconds and stir to dissolve sugar. Pour over mixture and stir well to coat. Spread over baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until everything is lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool. Stir in dried fruits. Store in an airtight container.
This was a super simple recipe, took about 5 minutes to prepare the dough, which I did before picking the kids up at school. Then it rises for about and hour and bakes for 30 minutes. I almost did not get a photo as the kids dove in right away- it smelled sooooo good cooking there was no resiting it once it came out of the oven! I used the Pizza Dough Flavor and Super Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Seriously Sharp Cheddar by Cabot). It was amazing!
No Knead Cheese and Garlic Flatbread
from King Arthur Flour
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional for drizzling into the pan)
2 cups diced cheese — cheddar, Monterey Jack, flavored cheddar, or your favorite
4 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
pizza seasoning or your favorite dried herbs, to sprinkle on top
1) Lightly grease a 9” x 13” pan, and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom.
2) Combine all of the ingredients except the cheese and garlic, and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 60 seconds.
3) Add the cheese and garlic, beating gently just to combine.
4) Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, till it’s become puffy.
5) While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
6) Sprinkle the dough with pizza seasoning, and/or the dried herbs of your choice, if desired.
7) Bake the bread till it’s golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
8) Remove it from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
9) To make crunchy bread sticks: Cut day-old bread into 1/2” slices. Lay the slices on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake them in a preheated 350°F to 400°F oven till they’re a light golden brown and crunchy, 15 to 25 minutes or so; keep your eye on them, as they brown quickly towards the end.
Yield: about 12 to 18 servings bread; or about fifty 6 1/2” bread sticks.
My daughter this morning came down with the virus that has been passed around her class for the last two weeks. She is feeling punky but has not lost her appetite. So I am pulling out my recipe for Dal, which is far and away her favorite dinner. Yum!
My kids love to eat this, and it is a great make ahead for busy days. For smaller families you can make the full recipe and freeze half (do it in two 8x8 pans instead of one 9x13) for another night.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
from Noreen Gilletz- The Pleasures of your Processor
1 package of Mac and Cheese (I like to use Annies Shells and Cheddar)
3 cups broad noodles (or a combo of small pasta, a good way to use up the ends of boxes)
3 Tbs butter
1/4 lb cheddar cheese
1 10oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 7oz cans of tuna, drained
salt and pepper
Cook the pasta together in salted boiling water. Drain and return noodles to pan.
In processor„ process onion with a few on/off pulses. Then add the cheese cut into 1-inch cubes. Process until finely chopped. Add to noodles along with the remaining ingredients (including the cheese packet from the Mac and Cheese box). Mix well. Pour into a greases 9x13 pan. Can be refrigerated here and baked later.
Bake uncovered at 350F. for 35 minutes.
If freezing half, when you want to bake it, drizzle with a bit of milk (about 1/4 cup) and bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes.
Here is the other recipe I got from the paper, also the Hartford Courant. This one needed more tinkering but it came out great!
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, washed and chopped
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cups water
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 12ox can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
1 15oz can salmon, bones and skin removed
salt and pepper
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and celery and cook until starting to soften. Add the potatoes and the water as well as a sprinkle of salt. Let cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour to make a roux. Cook for a minute or two and then add to the soup pot followed by the evaporated milk and the milk. Stir well and let cook just at a simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the salmon and stir well to break up the big pieces. Do not let it boil. Cook for a few minutes and check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as desired.
I served this with the Amish Pertzels and a big salad and it was a great hit, even with my pickiest eater (though she did need to sit on my lap before she would try it!).
I clip recipes from the newspaper all the time but rarely make them. This weekend I pulled out two recipes and had fun trying them. This one came from the Hartford Courant. It was delicious but needed salt, I have added a line for salt in the recipe.
Amish Soft Pretzels
1 1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs dry active yeast
2 cups bread flour
2 cups all purpose flour
(add here 3/4 tsp salt)
clarified butter (I used Ghee that I use in my Indian cooking)
1 cup cold water
1 Tbs baking powder
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine warm water, sugar and yeast. Measure in both flours (here is where I would add salt). Use the dough hook to knead into a soft ball.
Cover bowl and let rest until doubled, about 1 hour.
Brush a baking sheet with clarified butter. In a small bowl mix cold water and baking powder. Preheat oven to 500F.
Cut dough into 4 sections and then each section into 8 pieces. Roll into a fat finger. Dip each finger in baking powder water and place on baking sheet (ok to pack them in). Let rest about 5 minutes then brush with more butter and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake in the hot oven for 5-8 minutes. Pull apart and eat warm.
Today is my husband’s birthday and I have tried a new cake! He asked for chocolate and we all love coconut so I tried this lovely recipe from Martha Stewart. If it tastes as good as it looks and smells we will all be very happy!
My family loves Sourdough bread. I buy it from a local bakery but I have always wanted to make it myself. So I finally got up the courage and bought a starter from King Arthur Flour.
After feeding it, I decided the first project would be Sourdough Pretzels. The kids had fun making the ropes and twisting the dough, my daughter was excited to sprinkle the salt, and we all enjoyed the final product!
Next step will be to try to make some real Sourdough bread. I’ll keep you posted!
But despite this bitter cold my chickens are doing well. I even collected three eggs today! I have been feeding them extra scratch and keeping a close eye on their water even though I have a water heater it is still freezing! The seem happy and are still clucking away. Go chickens!